Sandeep Lamichhane was the only Associate cricketer in action on Day 9, as TKR rested Ali Khan in their early victory again Barbados. Ali left the action on Thursday after bowling just one over with what appeared to be a back injury.
The Jamaica Tallawahs entered today’s game against St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots with an opportunity to move into 3rd place, following Barbados heart-breaking final over loss to undefeated Trinbago Knight Riders. In spite of dominant spin bowling from Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman and Sandeep Lamichhane, Jamaica has been hovering around the 4th position in the league while struggling at times with the bat and at other times with their pace attack.
On Day 9 against the Patriots, Jamaica came through enough with the bat, totaling 147-6 in their innings, though their quicks showed up in force. By the time Sandeep Lamichhane came into the attack in the 12th over, the Patriots were in a 60-5 hole, having lost wickets in four consecutive overs leading up. All five wickets at this point had fallen to bowlers not named Mujeeb, though Sandeep began with a familiar strategy the Afghan, turning the ball away from both lefty batsmen Nick Kelly and Evin Lewis with googlies in each of his first five balls, giving up seven in the over.
After the typical low-scoring four-run 13th over against Mujeeb, Sandy got swatted around a bit in the 14th over. Too full for much of the over, Lewis finally smashed a huge six over mid-wicket on the fifth ball, though the ten run over was not enough to lower the asking run rate of more than two runs a ball. Fidel Edwards struck for his second wicket of the innings in the 15th, continuing the pace dominance for Jamaica.
Lamichhane got his revenge on Lewis with the fifth ball of the 16th over, this time with a quick and flat, seam-up delivery at off stump, which Lewis mistimed and ended caught out at long on. Mujeeb caught and bowled Cottrell in the 17th over, and Patriots were on their last legs at 98-8 heading into Sandeep’s final over, the 18th. With the first ball, Ish Sodhi threw himself into a flighted leg-break delivery and cleared the boundary over mid-wicket for six. Naturally, Sandy struck next ball, with a googly pitching on 5th stump line staying low into middle and off stumps and ending Sodhi’s day. Brathwaite ended the chase in the 20th over, taking his third wicket of the game, and Jamaica jumped into 3rd place in the table. Sandeep ended with figures of 2-27 off four overs.
The action heats up on Sunday with 2nd place St Lucia Zouks facing fourth-place Barbados Tridents, and we’ll see if Sad Bin Zafar or Shayan Jahangir get chances in the crucial game. The late game features Guyana Amazon Warriors against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, and we’ll see if the slumping Amazon Warriors turn to American Jessy Singh for a boost to the bowling attack.
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